Skift Breaking News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Hotels

Oyo Buys Nordic-Based Vacation Rental Operator Bornholmske Feriehuse

4 days ago

In its endeavor to expand as a preferred full-stack vacation homes provider, Oyo has acquired Denmark-based vacation rental operator — Bornholmske Feriehuse.

Oyo has made the acquisition through its subsidiary DanCenter. Bornholmske Feriehuse has over 700 homes on its platform and according to an Oyo release the company is expected to clock more than 250,000 guest nights in 2022.

The acquisition underlines Oyo’s commitment to invest in Denmark towards accelerating the growth of travel and tourism in the market.

An initiative by Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs — Invest in Denmark — helps attract and retain foreign investments in the country by providing a customized one-stop service for foreign companies, looking to set up or expand business in Denmark.

The demand from foreign guests in holiday homes has been particularly high, said Rasmus Lund, director of Bornholmske Feriehuse. Lund hoped that the collaboration with Oyo would give Bornholmske Feriehuse the opportunity to keep up with demand, while allowing homeowners to benefit from the many online portals that DanCenter collaborates with.

“The agreement would help our many holiday home owners achieve a higher rental percentage, while also contributing income and jobs to Bornholm,” said Lund, who will continue as the director of the vacation rental company.

The acquisition in Bornholm will strengthen Oyo’s presence in Europe. In May, Oyo acquired Croatia-headquartered Direct Booker, which has more than 3,200 homes.

Oyo already owns vacation rental brands in Europe such as Belvilla (Belvilla by Oyo), DanCenter, Danland and Traum Ferienwohnungen offering fully-managed private homes across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Croatia.

Short-Term Rentals

Australia’s Alloggio Expands Short-Term Vacation Rental Network

1 week ago

Alloggio, a short-term rental property manager based in Australia, has invested $11 million ($16 million Australian) since its November initial public offering. The small company has acquired rights to manage properties and getting its own channel manager by acquiring Aabode.com, reported The Australian.

The company is strengthening its position as one of the country’s managers of short-term rentals and vacation homes through a series of acquisitions of companies, including Great Ocean Road Holidays, Best of Magnetic, Prestige Holiday Homes, First National Magnetic Holiday Rent Roll, and The Edge Holiday Rent Roll at Coffs Harbour.

Alloggio now manages about 1,950 holiday homes in the country. For fiscal year 2022, it expects to generate revenue of at least $14 million ($21.5 million Australian) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of at least $7 million ($10.5 million Australian).

Short-Term Rentals

Dtravel Claims First Short-Term Rental Booking Using Blockchain and Smart Contracts

1 week ago

Dtravel said it is now taking crypto bookings for short-term rentals on a blockchain using smart contracts to process bookings directly between hosts and guests.

In fact, Dtravel, which describes itself as “a web3 direct booking tool,” said it facilitated the “first” hospitality booking on blockchain using a smart contact between UK host Amir Sadjady and a guest. Here are Sadjady’s listings.

short-term rental Travel
A short-term rental listing in London on Dtravel, which uses a blockchain and smart contracts. Dtravel.

Skift couldn’t independently vertify whether this is indeed a “first.”

Smart contracts automatically execute certain actions between the parties and lead to “lower transaction costs (than on online travel agencies), greater payment finality and non-custodial payments.”

A look at one of Sadjady’s London listings shows the nightly rate, a cleaning fee, a damage deposit, and a Dtravel platform fee amounting to around 4.3 percent of the nightly rate. If a guest pays with crypto the platform fee disappears, and if the guest uses a credit card the platform fee must be paid.

Dtravel said 5 percent of the tranacation goes to a community treasury. “However, these fees are being returned to hosts in the form of TRVL rewards, which is Dtravel’s native token, during the beta period,” the company said.

The company claims to have hundreds of available listings using smart contracts.

Dtravel said it was founded by former executives of major online travel agencies, and it has received $7.5 million in funding.

Short-Term Rentals

U.S. Vacation Rental Demand Is ‘Quickly’ Decelerating: Report

2 weeks ago

Traveler demand for vacation rentals in the U.S. is still growing, but the pace has “started to decelerate quickly,” according to a report from property manager Evolve.

Property manager Evolve’s office, as seen in 2017. Evolve

That was a major finding in Evolve’s report, Vacation Rental Industry Trends: Summer 2022.

While vacation rental demand was up 32 percent year over year in January 2022, it slowed to 9 percent growth in May, the report found.

At the same time, supply of vacation homes in the U.S. is holding steady, if not accelerating. Evolve said vacation rental supply growth stood at 10 percent in January 2022, and in May it notched 12 percent growth.

“This means the economic environment is beginning to impact summer travel demand, and there will be more vacation homes vying for fewer guest bookings overall,” Evolve stated.

Asked whether the slowing demand growth might cause Evolve to do a restructing, including layoffs, co-founder and CEO Brian Egan said there have been no layoffs.

“No, quite the opposite, we’re continuing to grow rapidly,” Egan said. “Relative to any pre-pandemic time period, 2022 has been an incredible year for demand, and the impact of the macroeconomy is showing up in modest ADR (Average Daily Rate) compression year over year. It’s not threatening the fundamentals of occupancy that really drive the economics of our business.” 

Short-Term Rentals

After Lehane’s Exit, Airbnb Taps Another Ex-White House Press Secretary to Head Public Policy

3 weeks ago

Airbnb announced Friday that it selected Jay Carney, most recently head of corporate affairs at Amazon and a former White House press secretary with ties to President Joe Biden, to replace Chris Lehane as global head of policy and communications.

Jay Carney
Jay Carney (center) at the White House May 20, 2011. Flickr.com shorturl.at/gsX19 Silartinitaly

Lehane, known for his hardball tactics in running campaigns opposing tougher municipal and state regulation of Airbnb, left Airbnb months ago, and joined a crypto fund. Lehane has many political jobs on his resume, including serving as press secretary for then-Vice President Al Gore from 1994-2000.

Carney has ties to President Joe Biden, having served as his director of communications when Biden was vice president. A former journalist, Carney was White House press secretary under Obama from 2011-2014.

Carney, who will begin his role at Airbnb in September, will be part of Airbnb’s executive team and will “work with co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky to ensure that as Airbnb grows, we strengthen the communities we are in.”

In a statement, Chesky said Carney is adept at community engagement “and is committed to ensuring that Airbnb is a force for good.”

Airbnb’s impact on communities can be multifaceted. On the one hand, it generates revenue for local businesses, including hosts, and makes travel affordable for many who otherwise wouldn’t be able to vacation in such fashion.

On the regulatory front, Airbnb faces an outcry in many communities around the world that it is hurting the quality of life, and contributing to a housing crisis as long-term rental properties get taken off the market, and turned into short-term rentals for tourists.

“The potential for travel to promote economic and social good has never been greater,” Carney said of his Airbnb appointment in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be joining Airbnb to help guide its work to connect communities and people through travel, drive economic participation, and help us discover that while our differences are real, they are overwhelmed by our similarities.”

Carney is a board member of Urban Institute, which Airbnb said works on issues such as affordable housing, racism and healthcare matters.

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Short-Term Rentals

U.S. Short-Term Rental Nightly Rates Push Even Higher in Record Summer

4 weeks ago

Despite the fears of recession and soaring fuel prices that have retreated somewhat in recent weeks, average daily rates for short-term rentals in the U.S. this summer jumped 7 percent year over year — and that’s nearly 30 percent higher than the summer of pre-pandemic 2019.

airbnb source airbnb
Airbnb short-term rental stay. Source: Airbnb

Those conclusions were part of an update to AirDNA’s mid-year 2022 outlook, which said U.S. average daily rate growth is highest in urban and coastal areas. (See chart below).

“As we look to summer 2022 (June-August), more STR nights have been booked than any other summer in history, as of the end of June,” the report said. “The previous record was set just last year, and the U.S. is currently seeing 12.3% more booked nights than at the same point in time in 2021.”

Short-term rental demand in big cities this summer, though, is still 28.3 percent lower than in the summer of 2019, AirDNA found.

In addition, AirDNA forecast that the U.S. supply of short-term rentals would jump 21 percent year-over-year in 2022 as both Airbnb and Vrbo increased their listings.

“With supply outpacing demand growth as expected, our outlook for occupancy is largely unchanged,” AirDNA said. “Our revised forecast now calls for U.S. occupancy to average 58.2% for the year, slightly lower than our 59.8% forecast in October.”

AirDNA’s occupancy numbers seems to be more bullish than those of Key Data Dashboard. The latter’s occupancy stats may skew more heavily toward vacation rentals specifically.

Occupancy rates in the U.S. in the third quarter (July, August and September) are currently at 39 percentdown from 45 percent during the same period in a standout 2021, according to Melanie Brown, director of analytics at Key Data Dashboard, which tracks vacation rental data.

Short-Term Rentals

AvantStay Says It Conducted 43 ‘Job Reductions’ in the Past 30 Days

1 month ago

Property manager AvantStay said Friday its employee roster was subject to 43 “job reductions” in the past 30 days.

The company argued that these weren’t layoffs because they came as part of a “gradual reorganization.” There actually was a net reduction of 19 employees over the last month because the company, which has around 600 staffers, also did hiring during the period, AvantStay said.

Skift earlier reported that AvantStay had fired around 80 employees, but AvantStay’s statement about 43 job reductions cast doubt on the original number. AvantStay, however, would only make statements about job reductions in the past 30 days.

avantstay property in high tide charleston nc source avantstay
Avantstay lists many upscale vacation homes for rental, including this property in Isle of Palms by Charleston, South Carolina. Source: AvantStay.

Avantstay said in December it managed more than 1,000 properties in more than 100 cities.

AvantStay founder and CEO Sean Breuner said: “As you know we recently hired a new COO and we executed a reorganization of our company to eliminate redundancies and introduce new executives. We have been and will continue to keep hiring as travel remains robust this summer (hopefully others seeing same).”

The company said it is not engaging in any fundraising at this time.

Several now-former AvantStay employees posted about the layoffs on various social media platforms. One said the company cited a looming recession, and investor losses as among reasons behind the job cuts.

The AvantStay layoffs follows the news earlier today that WanderJaunt, another property manager, ceased operations and told guests to leave booked properties if the stay went beyond June 30.

Founded in 2017 and based in Los Angeles, AvantStay manages properties and redecorates them with the aim of charging premium rates for owners.

Short-Term Rentals

Property Manager WanderJaunt Shuts Down

1 month ago

Short-term rental property manager WanderJaunt ceased operations.

An announcement on a Wanderjaunt customer service phone line said that “due to the current economic situation” Wanderjaunt is permanently closing on Thursday, June 30, and ceased operations Tuesday.

Guests with bookings that had checkouts by Thursday could complete their stays, the announcement said, and those with stays running after that should vacate the properties by June 30.

The company said it would process refund requests but customers should contact their credit card companies with any difficulties.

Guests who booked Wanderjaunt properties on Airbnb should contact Airbnb, the announcement said.

Co-founded by Michael Chen, Barrett Glasauer and Andres Green, the property manager, launched in 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area, had raised $37 million from investors including Global Founders Capital, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures and Bossanova Investmentos.

WanderJaunt entered into long-term leases with developers, and distributed its rentals on Airbnb and other third-party websites. It was trying to build a brand.

Skift is reaching out to the company for comment.

Short-Term Rentals

UK Government to Consider Short-Term Rental Registrations and Inspections

1 month ago

Citing a substantial increase in Airbnb listings, UK government agencies Wednesday issued an “open call for evidence” about the impact of short-term rentals, and floated remedies such as physical inspections of properties and a registration requirement.

The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, as well as two MPs stated that the call for evidence would last 12 weeks. The announcement cited a 33 percent increase in Airbnb’s UK listings in the 2017-2018 period.

jermyn street london short term rental via altido source altido
A residence on Jermyn Street in London that’s available for short-term rental via booking brand Altido. Source: Altido.

The aim is to improve the lives of people living in tourism destinations, and to understand the impact on housing, among other goals. the announcement said.

The announcement stated:

“The scheme, proposed in a new government review looking at the impact of increases in short-term and holiday lets in England, could involve physical checks of premises to ensure regulations in areas including health and safety, noise and anti-social behaviour are obeyed.

“Further measures the Government is considering include a registration ‘kitemark’ scheme with spot checks for compliance with rules on issues such as gas safety, a self-certification scheme for hosts to register with before they can operate, and better information or a single source of guidance setting out the legal requirements for providers.”

Reacting to the announcement, Merilee Karr, chair of the UK Short Term Accommodation Association and CEO of UnderTheDoormat, urged the government to distinguish between short-term rentals that hosts live in and those that are investment properties.

Karr said her association has previously called for a national registration plan as a precursor to collecting data and to develop any policies. She said short-term rentals “play a vital role in the English tourism economy, contributing to local jobs and businesses, providing a vital income stream for many individuals and families at this time of rising cost of living.”

Short-Term Rentals

Sonder to Expand in Dubai With 401-Unit Property

2 months ago

Sonder said it plans to expand in Dubai later this year with the opening of a 401-unit property, Business Bay.

Sonder’s Business Bay, Dubai, complete with front desk in the lobby. Source: Sonder

Unlike some Sonder properties where customer service is solely via text messages, this 35-story building, operated by Sonder and developed by SAAS Properties, has a front desk in the lobby, a swimming pool, gym, and food and beverage facility.

Business Bay, a serviced apartment, would be Sonder’s third location in Dubai, the company said.

Sonder is marketing the property as being appropriate for both business and leisure travelers. It is located in the vicinity of the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.

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